At our neighborhood garden swap a couple weeks ago, Raphael made an appearance. Well, not the man, but his Chile. On Friday the 13th, several neighbors converged upon Sandy & Ed’s glorious French Chateaux (the house my house wants to be when it grows up). Don’t let the date scare you… despite entering under a ladder, crossing the path of a black cat, and opening several umbrellas in the house there was no bad luck on this night.
We were all instructed to bring a dish of “comfort food” inspired by the garden. Ed, one of our hosts for the evening, provided Raphael’s Chile. Ironically, no one knows who Raphael is. It was the first item on our makeshift buffet and the second everyone took a taste, their reaction was the same: raised eyebrows, smile, dig in for more. Next came the question: What is in this? It was a bright, flavorful, and textural, tomatillo based chile with loads of meat, bacon and beans. It might be one of the best chile’s I’ve had, but no where near traditional. Next to the chile was a small recipe card which answered everyone’s question. I quickly stashed that into my pocket for future reference.
Thank you Raphael, wherever you are, for that chile. (And thank you Ed for sharing it with us!)
- 2 lbs sirloin or fajita meat
- 4 slices chopped bacon
- 20 tomatillos
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 5 serrano chiles
- 2 whole cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp chicken bouillon
- 2, 16 oz cans whole pinto beans
- 2, 16 oz cans black beans
- 1/2, 16 oz can hominy (Ed’s addition to the legacy of Raphael)
- 1 c corn kernels
Cut up sirloin to size preferred and set aside (about 1/2 inch cubes). Chop uncooked bacon slices and fry in a large pot. Remove bacon from pot. Toast corn in the bacon grease, remove from grease, and set aside. Then, brown the meat in bacon grease. Blend tomatillos, onion, cilantro, chiles, garlic, and bouillon, with 1 cup water in a blender. Mix blender mix with cooked meat and heat. Add pinto beans, black beans, hominy, and toasted corn. Simmer until meat is tender (about 2 hours).